You are currently browsing the tag archive for the ‘Chris’ tag.


Had a fun time in New York last week. Stayed with Jack and Marisa. Below is not Jack. Below is Chris by Jack.



We went to Christopher Anderson’s book launch for Capitolio. It was great to see it after recent reviews, heated debates (check out comments) questions and wot not. I don’t think the selection of the images was the best.

At the Metropolitan, Surface Tension: Photographs from the Permanent Collection was a pleasant whimsy into some mesmerizing works, notably Adam Fuss’ UNTITLED (1997) made by the metronome shimmers of snakes upon black dust upon white dust. Image Source: Cheim & Read

Fuss, Adam

The Met’s photography department was putting together the final touches on Robert Frank’s The Americans which opened this week. It was all hands to the pump as evidenced by besuited Malcolm Daniel – who I spied carrying large, heavy object (post?) behind a partition and into the exhibition space.

Egg and Cheese Bagel.

Over at the Museum of Modern Art, I was pleased to see Russell Lee‘s work Bulletin Board in Post Office Showing a Large Collection of “Wanted Men” Signs, Ames, Iowa (1936). Who doesn’t love a mug shot?

Lee, Russell, MoMa Bulletin BoardCRI_61685


Bringing the practice of mapping of transgressions into the 21st century, the Spatial Design Lab from the Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation at Columbia University exhibited its Million Dollar Blocks Project (2006).

Brooklyn. Million Dollar Blocks


On Monday night I sat with Andrew Lichtenstein. We talked. Andrew recommended Brennan Linsley‘s work and was quite emphatic about the book ‘Concrete Mama‘. He also spoke highly of Max Kenner and the work at the Bard Prison Initiative

Tuesday, I met Emiliano Granado. We were first in contact over his San Quentin Giants pictures. We talked about many things including Trevor Paglen, Argentina, the Burke Gilman, and the Horticultural Society of New York, which recently lost Barbara Margolis who was an inspiring leader. Emiliano recommended Alessandra Sanguinetti‘s work.


On Sunday, I’d been at the WTC construction site. There was some portraiture on display in a window. The space behind the window was closed but would usually be open. The photographs were easy on the eye.


On my last night I checked out Steven Hirsch’s Courthouse Confessions.

That’s Matt Kelley looking at Steven’s work. He’s coordinator for Criminal Justice, online communications for the Innocence Project and all together nice bloke. Matt’s double identity is twittered and can be followed here and here.


Hirsch takes street portraits of folk going to court, secures (in some ironic twist) a non-binding statement and then transcribes it verbatim to go with the portrait. Constantly moving the camera, Hirsch uses hard flash and distorted angles/zoom to depict these individuals as shape shifters; as anomalies. The fact Hirsch’s subjects (in most cases) seem alien to the logic of the courts – that any lessons arising from their cases are unlikely to effect sentencing laws in the future – should but be a source of disquiet for us as an audience.

Hirsch, Steven

One last thing. On Saturday, I saw John Baldessari sat outside a Grennwich Village coffeehouse, but I bottled saying anything. I’ve learnt that famous people abound in Manhattan and you see ’em everywhere.

Thanks to everyone who altered their orbits a little to coincide with mine.

I don’t envy Chris Parks. If, according to him, he was never in the military (which I believe), then he got a pretty rough ride when stepping back on US soil. This week, the busiest and best free newspaper about went with The Accidental AWOL, a story on Chris Parks.

Chris Parks by Kelly O. in the Stranger

Chris Parks by Kelly O. in the Stranger

The interesting thing about Parks’ story is his processing through multiple legal stages and sites. He was held by other state agencies until he could be accommodated at Fort Knox military base and was then just dumped into the daily military procedures that keep recruits actively docile. And he’s in that until the military realise they’ve lost much of the pertinent information to the case.

In italics below I have quoted author Jonah Spangenthal-Lee directly, but added my own subheaders.

Charlotte Douglas International Airport, NC (Time Detained: “Several Hours”)

Parks had been heading back to Seattle after a trip through Central America with a group of friends. As he passed through customs at Charlotte Douglas International Airport in North Carolina, agents from the Department of Homeland Security, pulled Parks out of line, handcuffed him, and detained him for several hours before taking him to the Mecklenburg County Jail without a word as to why.

Mecklenburg County Jail (One Week)

Parks spent a week in the county jail. After two days, he found out why: At customs, a computerized database had flagged Parks as an AWOL U.S. Army soldier who’d been missing since 2002. Because of his “fugitive” status, he would eventually be transferred to the personnel control facility at Fort Knox. The problem: Parks says he was never in the army.

“Years ago, I signed up to enlist in the army,” Parks said. “Before I actually flew out to basic training, I talked to my recruiter and explained to him I didn’t want to go.” He was just out of Freeman High School in Rockford, Washington—a suburb of Spokane—at the time and had been drawn in by the offer of a $10,000 signing bonus. But ultimately, he says, “All I wanted to do was just snowboard and screw around and be a kid for a while.”

Fort Knox’s personnel control facility (Two Weeks)

Parks was sent to Fort Knox’s personnel control facility, where his head was shaved and he was issued fatigues and a blanket, given a bunk, and instructed not to talk to any of the women in the facility or other soldiers on the base. “I basically had to play army,” Parks says. “You have to fall in and stand in line. I had no idea what the hell I was doing.”

After a total of three weeks, Parks was released with little explanation. And after three weeks of procedural but unjust detention due to bureaucratic failings, the military are still going to send Parks the bill for his flightfrom Charlotte to Fort Knox! And his head was shaved …


prisonphotography [at] gmail [dot] com

Prison Photography Archives

Post Categories